The Nurse Practice Act gives authority to regulate the practice of nursing and the enforcement of the law to the Board of Nur

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The Nurse Practice Act gives authority to regulate the practice of nursing and the enforcement of the law to the Board of Nursing, which is responsible for maintaining the balance between the rights of the nurse to practice nursing and the responsibility to protect public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens (Brous, 2012, p. 508 as cited in Russell, 2017). Being asked to perform a duty that is beyond the scope of the state’s nursing practice can be threatening to a patient and the nurse. The appropriate response depends on the circumstances. On the state board of nursing website, there is a Scope of Practice Decision-Making Tool that is intended to provide direction in the decision-making process (“Arizona State Board,” 2019). If unsure, it is important to review the Nurse Practice Act and Advisory Opinions found on the state board of nursing website, and the facility’s policies and procedures, then if it is within the scope of practice, continue and if not, stop (“Arizona State Board,” 2019). If it is not within the scope of practice, it is recommended to suspend the duty to staff qualified to do the duty or to the State Board of Nursing for a decision (“Arizona State Board,” 2019). It is possible to be subjected to board disciplinary action if choosing to perform the duty with a lack of education, competency, or outside of the scope of practice (“Arizona State Board,” 2019). Refusing the duty, the nurse will need to document concerns for patient safety as well as the process used to inform the employer of decisions, keep a copy of the documentation and send a copy to the nurse executive, nurse manager, offer options or a change in work assigned tasks with your colleagues, and one may face disciplinary action as well, it is important to be familiar with an employer’s grievance procedure(“Arizona State Board,” 2019). If the duty is within the scope of practice but there is a lack of experience or training, it is crucial to speak up. The nurse should make sure the employer/supervisor is aware that he/she is willing to help provide care for patients but, has never worked with the equipment needed and/or has very limited experience caring for the type of patient and should not be left in charge. 


Arizona State Board of Nursing. AZBN. (2019). Retrieved August 17, 2022, from 

Russell, K. A. (2017). Nurse practice acts guide and govern: Update 2017. Journal of Nursing Regulation8(3), 18-25.

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